Hot Topic: Gold finishes a bit lower on profit-takingCrude Oil prices ended above US$68 bbl last Friday and gained for the second straight week as investors felt more confident about the global economy. Light, sweet crude for September delivery rose 89 cents to settle at US$68.05bbl on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest close since July 1. The contract has gained more than 13% in the last two weeks, boosted by an upbeat sentiment in the market. As many major US companies reported better-than-expected quarterly results, more and more investors believed the recession had bottomed out and expected an economy recovery by the end of this year or early next year, which will trigger a rebound in energy demand. Meanwhile the US$ kept falling against the Euro in the last two weeks, encouraging demand for dollar-priced assets such as Crude Oil to hedge against inflation. In London, Brent crude for September delivery rose US$1.07 to settle at US$70.32 bbl on the ICE Futures exchange.
Gold futures on the COMEX Division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell slightly last Friday as investors booked profits after the precious metal hit a six-week high in the previous session. Silver and Platinum both gained. Gold price for August delivery lost US$1.70, or 0.2%, to finish at US$953.10 oz. Savvy market observers indicated that Gold's failure to create another new high last Friday disappointed investors, who opted to take profits ahead of weekend to avoid uncertainty risk. On Thursday, Gold touched as high as US$957.50 oz, the strongest level since June 11. The modest gain in Crude Oil and softer tone in the US Dollar Index gave the yellow metal some support and limited the loss. September Silver finished at US$13.875oz up 10.5c, and October Platinum rose US$3.40 to US$1191.40 oz.Hot Topic: Crude Oil gains for second week running